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The Pattern/ The Datsuns @ The Boat Race, Cambridge

(14th August 2002)

I used to think Iíd been short-changed if I couldnít wring a pint of sweat out of my t-shirt by the end of a loud gig spent leaping around down the front. Lately, I feel short-changed if I canít get a pint of Horlicks and somewhere comfortable and quiet (with a table that doesnít wobble and clean, dry beer mats) to sit down near the back. No chance of either tonight. The Boat Race is a furnace, so moshing and hot drinks are both strictly off the Possession agenda. But weíre realists arenít we, you and me? You know Iíve taken Judas silver from the musikkk biz Man so I could feel short-changed after watching Jimmy Hendrix give Elvis an blow job while playing the Star-Spangled Banner on Janis Joplinís pubes with a violin bow.

And expectations are high tonight. Trusted sources, including the increasingly excellent Artrocker Ďzine Ė email for details Ė have been banging on about The Datsuns and The Pattern and I need to retune my critical radar into what the kids are into (the gigís sold out) Ďcos they certainly ainít into this plastic pile of beautiful noise at my side, and I donít know why.

The Datsuns, then. Letís be brief. No, letís wish The Datsunís were briefer. AC/DC and Led Zep strung out on speed cut heavily with Daz Automatic? Yes please! The same, holding up Stairway To Heaven as the ideal length for a song? No thanks! Forthcoming single, Super Gyration, is awesome until it carries on. Every track they play is awesome. Until they carry on. Somebody give them a stopwatch that explodes on 2 minutes and weíll all be happy.

The Pattern, then. Letís get the good stuff up front. No Books is a blast; the singer is my hero, a jumbled jigsaw of slurred asides, catty insults and non-sequiturs; and the band can rock. And roll. And rule. The bad side? Just like the records, thereís not enough here. Songs start, go on and finish. Where The Datsuns stick 10 ideas in every track (the same 10 ideas in every track, mind) The Pattern struggle to find two. When they hit them, itís instant glory. When they miss, well it could be a too-hot Tuesday night in Cambridge. Now where did Jimmy and Elvis go?

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